Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. Infertility can be brought on by many factors, including:
• Male factor infertility
• Unexplained infertility
• Problems with the ovaries
• Blocked or scarred fallopian tubes
Assisted reproductive technologies include:
• in vitro fertilization where the eggs are fertilized in a culture dish and placed into the uterus. When monitoring shows that the eggs are mature, they are collected nonsurgically. The sperm are collected and added to the eggs in a culture dish. Several days later, two to three fertilized eggs are returned to the uterus using a catheter.
• Intracytoplasmic sperm injection involves injecting a single sperm directly into each mature egg using a micro-needle.
• Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGD) is performed on a single cell taken from 3-day old embryos produced by IVF. It is an option for patients who are at increased risk for having miscarriages or a child with a genetic problem.
Infertility is a delicate subject and the best options for you and your partner should be discussed with your doctor.
There are several treatment options for infertility. These options include:
• Medical therapy
• Reproductive surgery
• Intrauterine insemination
• Assisted reproductive technologies
Medical therapy is the initial treatment option for correcting ovulation dysfunction—irregular or infrequent periods. The first line of treatment is an oral medication. These medications typically induce normal ovulation in more than 80 percent of patients. However, only about half of these women conceive.
Reproductive surgery can typically be performed endoscopically on an outpatient basis. Using a laparoscope inserted through the naval, the procedure can be successful in removing scar tissue, treating endometriosis, removing cysts on the ovaries, and unblocking the fallopian tubes.
Intrauterine insemination refers to an office procedure in which semen are placed into the uterus using a catheter inserted through the cervix.